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European Court to Consider Complaint of Ukrainian Pilot

The European Court of Human Rights will give priority treatment to the case of Ukrainian helicopter pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, who is being held in Russia on suspicion of killing two Russian journalists, her attorney wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.

Russian authorities said Savchenko was arrested last week after crossing the Russian-Ukrainian border as a refugee. After being stopped for a standard identity check, police found that Savchenko was suspected of involvement in the death of Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine on June 17.

The Ukrainian government denied the Russian version of events, however, claiming that Savchenko had been abducted by Russian intelligence officers after being captured by separatists in Luhansk.

The European Court of Human Rights said in its letter to Savchenko's Ukrainian attorney, Valentyna Telychenko, that it had sent an inquiry to the Russian government asking for an explanation on why the Ukrainian consul was not being allowed to visit Savchenko in the detention center.

The Voronezh branch of the Federal Penitentiary Service told Interfax that the consul would be able to see Savchenko on Wednesday after all the required documents were submitted.

Lawyer Mark Feigin, known for defending the punk band Pussy Riot in an earlier case, came forward and said he would defend Savchenko.

Feigin said he believes that Savchenko could be let go in exchange for someone or something from the Ukrainian side, though Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin denied that claim.

"I hope Mark Feigin will do his job and stop shocking the public," Markin said in comments carried by Interfax. 

See also:

Aeroflot to Hire 26 Foreign Pilots

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